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Dick DeBartolo, MAD's Maddest Writer, and co-host of The Giz Wiz at GizWiz.TV, The Giz Wiz on ABC's World News Now, and on Tech Guy Labs with Leo Laporte on But wait, there's More »

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    The new, official TWiT Podcast Headset!

    Turn The Table Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009, Netcast 987

    When TWiT had regular guests in far off locations they often provide them with webcam (currently the Logitech Pro 9000) and a USB headset. They do this so the audio and video quality of TWiT shows meets their high standards. They latest headset they zoomed in on, is the Plantronics Audio Headset 655. It’s for guests to use because it’s true Plug-and-Play. Once connected the headset's dual 40 mm speakers deliver full-range digital audio with a clear treble range and very decent bass. The Audio 655 is constructed with comfortable, cushioned earpieces to block distracting ambient noise. The 655 Headset also features a noise-canceling, full-adjustable boom-style microphone that transmits your voice clearly without the interruption of background noise. This makes the unit ideal for podcasting, Skype and other Internet calls. The headset's Fast Mic Mute technology lets you quickly mute the microphone by simply raising the boom. But wait, there’s more! One of the best things about this new headset is the price. The list price is $59.99, but it often sells for $29.99. There are more details here:  

    Selling here for under $30, but I haven't purchased anything from this vendor:

    Hear this Netcast:


    Hey, could you turn down the volume on your T-shirt???

     The Daily Giz Wiz, Week of December 21, 2009

    Monday, December 21st, 2009 Netcast 986

    Here’s another unique T-shirt from the folks at Think Geek. (They made the Graphic Equalizer T-Shirt & even the Wi-Fi T-Shirt.) Now there’s the Think Geek Guitar T-Shirt! This t-shirt really lets you play music!  All major chords are recorded from a real electric guitar, and the included magnetic pick allows you to strum just like you would a real guitar. The included mini amp clips to your belt and gets plenty loud. The tone knob on the amp lets you adjust the sound just like a real guitar. The guitar pick is magnetic and stores on the metal grille of the mini-amp. It's a lot of technology for $29.99.

    There's a Drums T-Shirt available too. Put your own chest to strike various drums and cymbols. But you'll probably want the kids to play them in their own room after the holiday! It's also under $30. Well, $29.99.

     Hear this Netcast:


    When watched, this kettle boils and turns colors!

    Dick Gadget Warehouse Friday, December 18th, 2009, Netcast 985

    It’s November, 2000 and Russell Hobbs introduces the Thermocolor Colour Changing Kettle. You can tell by the “u” in colour that this product was imported from England. There’s not too much you can do to jazz up a kettle, so Russell Hobbs hoped an appliance that changed colour as it boils water would be a hit. I don’t think it was.There were three models each it is own special name. The ThermoCrystal, which changes from black to crystal white, the ThermoPink (blue to a funky pink) and the ThermoGreen (dark green to lime). I found the ThermoPink in Dick’s Gadget Warehouse. The kettles were available as direct plug-ins where the AC cord was attached directly to the kettle. Or like the one I have where the kettle sits on a special rapid boil heating plate and can be removed and brought cordlessly to the table. As soon as you click the kettle on, it sounds like the water is boiling. Mine is quiet loud. It does boil pretty fast because it uses 1800 watts! (An electric heater is normally 1500 watts.) That’s why they tell you not to use it with an extension cord. There’s a power-on neon light and the kettle automatically shuts off when the water starts to boil. Russell Hobbs is still very much around and they still make kettles, but not this particular model. Strangely I found it at the link below for 999999 pound which equals $1.6 million. I’m willing to sell mine for 1/100 of that price! In case that link hasn’t been changed since I wrote this, here it is!

    Hear this Netcast:


    Instead of buying a spare battery made just for your laptop, here’s another idea.

    Thursday, December 17th, 2009, Netcast 984 

    If you buy a spare battery for your laptop and get rid of that machine, the battery had to go with it since it’s not much use anywhere else. But the Energi To Go XP18000 Power Pack for Laptops (from Energizer) is a different way to go. This versatile on-the-go battery pack can give your smart phone, camera, or laptop hours of extra life. The power pack comes with an assortment of cords and adapter tips making it compatible with a wide range of devices. The Energizer XP18000 is guaranteed to work with ANY laptop in the world! (It's 18000mAH of power) But what there’s more! Use it as a power adapter or you can charge three devices at the same time like your cell phone, iPod and laptop. It weighs less than a pound and it’s compact. Energizer says it provides up to 6 hours of additional laptop power. Here’s how I used mine, and the results. I ran my Toshiba laptop until the battery was totally dead. And I did the same with my LG ENV 3 cell phone. Then I plugged them both into the XP1800 Power Pack and went the gym. When I came back from the gym the XP1800 had used up all its power, but my Toshiba laptop and my LG cell phone were both fully charged in just a bit over an hour. Of course all I had to do was charge up the XP1800 again and it was to go. The Energizer XP18000 comes with 3 power cables, 6 cell phone tips, 3 media tips, 9 laptop tips, an AC adapter and a carrying bag. Energizer also offers FREE TIPS FOR LIFE. You do pay about $5 for shipping, but it means that you can get new tips as new devices are introduced. That way your battery pack will be useful for year to come. Visit for more details. List price is about $170.00. But do a web search. I’ve seen it for $129.99, and once it was a Deal of the Day for $99.99, but that a one-day special price!

    Hear this Netcast:


    See the light at the end of my showerhead!

    Wednesday, December 16th, 2009, Netcast 983


    Do you have one of those showers that you have to run forever to get the water to the temperature you want? And you have to stand there the whole time with your hand in the running water. Here’s a gizmo that can help end that tiresome task. It’s the Water Glow LED Showerhead Light. It uses 3 distinct colored LED lights to let you know the temperature of your water. Now the colors they picked are a little weird. Green means the water flowing is less than 89 degrees. Then when it turns blue, it’s a safe and comfortable 89 to 105 degrees F. (You would expect these colors to be reversed, no? Blue for cold, green for nice & warm.)  The color that is correct is red. When red shows up, the water is HOT, over 105 degrees. When the red starts blinking – it’s HOT and DANGEROUS! Set up is easy, just unscrew your existing showerhead and replace it with the LED shower light. What’s really neat is that this showerhead doesn’t need any batteries. It uses the current generated by the running water to change the color that corresponds to the temperature. The company gives it a fancier name. They say an “Electro magnetic turbine powers unit.”  The price is under $20. But do a web search because sometimes it’s on sale. It’s $20 with free shipping at the link below. I didn't get mine there though. I got it on a "deal of the day" sale for $16.00. But that sale is long over.$20+++free+shipping

    Hear this Netcast: